Arsenal’s past openers: 16 August 2008. We win. But…


I remember Arsenal v West Brom on 16 August 2008 for earth-shattering non-football reasons.  First, I wasn’t there – I was on holiday in Slovenia, and very pleasant it was too, overlooking Lake Bled.  But fortunately (again) the hotel had free internet connection.  Only two computers but, still they were there, and fortunately most people were busy watching the Olympics, so I got on to find the result.

The other reason is totally personal.  Five days earlier my eldest daughter gave birth very prematurely to twin boys.   The phone connection from my mobile back to England was very difficult, and I had to live with minimal information – they were in incubators and ok – I knew little more.  The Arsenal win distracted me for a while from something infinitely more important.

When I got back to England and saw the boys I was shocked – never had I had seen children born so early.  I am not at all religious but I was just about converted at that moment, knowing that had it been but a few years earlier the technology would not have been there and these tiny children would not have survived.

Last weekend I celebrated with them, and their friends, and of course their parents, their fifth birthday.

So my recollections of the game are zero.  Fortunately Gf60 watched it.  Here’s what he said at the time.


League Arsenal vs West Brom 1-0

A rather large white space filled with *#$@ and *&%$#@ and $%#@*&^ might be a better report.

Yes a win is a win and let’s face it, previous opening days at Ashburton have not enthralled, so a blank sheet at our end and Nasri getting off the mark so quickly shouldn’t be laughed at, chaffed at or farted at.

BUT how many times do we have to take our foot off the pedal before we realise that even a Sunday pub side can play a bit of good football once in a game. And even the most disreputable of Premier strikers doesn’t need much opportunity to put the ball away. OK, fair enough, you can leave AdeB out of that statement! :o) Not that AdeB played badly but his finishing was profligate…again.

My moan and groan is that we spotted early on one of the most useless defensive line ups down our left hand side that we will get this season.

Having established that link, 4-0, 5-0, 9-0 even, was not a bad bet. But we go into stroll mode and “let’s bring our right hand side into the game a bit” to give them a game. Which is when West Brom discover that all of Arsenal does not consist of people off another planet. In fact they are fallible. And more in fact, our right hand side, with the exception of Bacary, can be dire. Maybe AW is frightened of telling young Theo to pull his finger out of his arse…or maybe he doesn’t know colloquial English because he’s a very polite man.

Arsène…”Vous m’emmerdes” is a useful phrase and may be used when necessary. I shout it at Eboue all the time…not that he ever listens.

But then he doesn’t seem to listen to you either. So why pick him?

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